In contrast to yesterday’s beautiful blue skies and sunshine, today started with a small taste of the cooler weather approaching. But grey skies and a little rain could do nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of our intrepid adventurers. With the knowledge that market day at Gordes was sure to have plenty of treasures on offer, the ladies enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading off over the Bonnieux hill towards the tour’s first shopping opportunity.
Before delving into the markets proper, we took the opportunity to educate ourselves on some of the natural history and geological structure of the hill upon which Gordes is built with a visit to the hilltop cave site near the edge of the village.
After our assault on the markets it was time for lunch at our favourite Gordes restaurant, L’Encas.
From one hilltop village to another, we took the opportunity to stop at Bonnieux on the way home to take in the sights across the valley from this beautiful little village through which we often pass on our way to destinations further afield. Perched on the ridge that separates Lourmarin and the southern Luberon from villages such as Lacoste, Menerbes, Gordes and the northern part of the Luberon, Bonnieux is an ancient village that is accessed by narrow, switchback roads that offer magnificent views up and down the valley to the north. Well worth our stop to look around.
Back at the chateau, it was time for show and tell … revealing all the treasures procured throughout the day. Not that it’s a competition, but if it were I think we have a clear contender for the ‘La Poste Stakes’ straight out of the barrier while others contemplate their pill boxes.
The tour is not, however all about shopping. There are many other activities, such as dining at fabulous French restaurants just like L’Insolite, where we are heading tonight, and, of course, colour coordinating outfits (you can’t really go wrong with black).
With the physical body now satiated, it is now time to nourish the soul with a violin and piano recital by renowned local musicians performing some favourites by Chopin and Ravel amongst others.
And so, after our first full day in Provence, we now head back to our adopted home at the chateau only a couple of minutes drive from the recital venue with lingering melodies playing in our heads and thoughts of our oh so comfy beds completing the day.